This is a skin disease caused by a fungus.
It appears commonly
in three types: Sogginess
of skin and peeling in-between toes. Eruptions of small white or red blisters
on soles and sides of feet. Dry skin, redness and scaling on soles of
feet. All above may itch and therefore become sore, if scratched will
spread more rapidly.
Tinea Pedis is infectious and thrives where there is moisture and darkness,
therefore, the foot in a shoe is an ideal breeding area.
1. Avoid nylon socks and plastic shoes. Use natural materials, e.g. leather
or canvass for shoes, cotton or wool for socks. Do not wear the same pair
of shoes for two days running.
2. Wash feet regularly using soap and water. Dry thoroughly using a personal
towel. Swab surgical spirit between toes after bathing.
3. Use recommended products for the infection, taking the advice of a
Chiropodist. However most ‘Athletes Foot’ treatments sold these days are
effective in 3 out of 4 infections. (If the product chosen has not worked
after 1 week, simply try another make).
4. Be aware that the infection can be picked up in swimming pools, showers,
baths at home or at work. Sauna’s and Steam Rooms are particularly
likely to encourage this condition.
type you choose will be dictated by the site of infection and your convenience.
Bear in mind that the product will normally need to be applied twice a
day, for three weeks!
ideal on soles, arches and heels, only if you can reach. Some creams
may cause clamminess between toes, so do check first before purchasing.
to be directly painted anywhere on unbroken skin, economical, but very
fiddle to use, and you need to be able to reach your feet quite well.
messy, can cause ‘mud pies’ in between toes. Useful though for those who
cannot reach their feet easily.
and wasteful, however so easy to use this type is the treatment of choice
by many people.
PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE
nail and skin conditions that appear on first inspection to be caused
by a fungus, may be a symptom of another condition.
Laboratory tests are required to specifically ascertain which organism
(if any) is the problem. This can take weeks and is expensive. Treating
‘Athletes Foot’ usually clears the problem before we know specifically
Referral to a Dermatologist by your G.P. can be advisable in rare cases.
Complications :- Athletes
Foot should always be treated as the fungus can spread causing unsightly
discoloration and thickening of the toenails. This is very difficult to
Fungal Infection (Onychomycosis)
are often present in low numbers within nails as a harmless resident. Sometimes
conditions within our shoes are so favourable to fungi (dark
warm and moist), that numbers increases to the point where this becomes
Nail Appearance :-
brown, crumbly, thick, and uneven. Has a dank odour.
for a Big Toenail :-
paint a liquid fungicide onto the nail twice daily for 18 months until appearance
is normal. Or daily for 3 months using terbinafine*
a fungal antibiotic tablet (18
The liquids are far from guaranteed to be successful, particularly as it
is easy to miss one days treatment. The tablets have medical contraindications
associated with them, and are ‘Prescription only’ you will need to discuss
this option with your own G.P.
*Lamisil is a trademark of ‘Sandoz’